University of Edinburgh

 SSC Bulletin 19: September 2013

Sharing information with everyone who is involved in the education of deaf children, deafblind children and visually impaired children and young people, the young people themselves and their families.

 SSC Courses - Coming up ...

Friday, 1 November 2013

Social and emotional wellbeing and friendships for children and young people with a visual impairment

Dr Joao Roe has been a teacher for children and young people with vision impairment for over 20 years and is passionate about inclusion and learning. Dr Roe has done research on peer relationships and play of children with vision impairment and has lectured at universities for over 10 years. This course will aim to develop your understanding of:

  • how social emotional wellbeing and friendships impact on learning;
  • how children and young people with vision impairment develop these skills and what the implications are;
  • why bullying of children and young people with SEN can occur;
  • how professionals can support children and young people by developing strategies, supporting schools/educational settings.

There will be opportunities to listen, participate in practical activities, share experiences, look at real scenarios and access a number of strategies that can help professionals develop this area.

Target Audience: Practitioners working with children and young people with a visual impairment: teachers, teaching assistants, care workers, habilitation/mobility officers, educational psychologists, etc.

Presenter: Dr Joao Roe, Head of Sensory Support Service, Bristol.


Friday, 8 November 2013

An introduction to visual impairment and autism in children and young people

This one-day course provides a description of the nature of autism; the research concerning the co-occurrence of visual impairment and autism; and developmental setback in visually impaired infants.

There will be a demonstration of the guidance for practitioners developed by the Visual Impairment and Autism Project and discussion of the areas covered: underlying principles, learning, the environment, communication, sensory needs, wellbeing, mobility and independence, and music. There will also be an opportunity to discuss the children and young people the delegates work with.

Target Audience: Practitioners working with children and young people who are blind or partially sighted, including teachers, teaching assistants, care workers, habilitation/mobility officers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists, and educational psychologists. This course should also be valuable to those working with adults who have both visual impairment and autism.

Presenter: Ian Bell, Independent Specialist Speech & Language Therapist (formerly Leader of the Visual Impairment & Autism Project)

Tuesday, 12 November, 2013

Secondary Focus Day - Transition process for deaf school leavers

(St Roch's Secondary School, Glasgow)

The aim of this day will be to look at the transition process for supporting deaf school leavers. St Roch's Secondary School, Glasgow will share with participants the transition arrangements they have in place. Future Focus, a new Adult Employability and Training project at Donaldson's for 16+ will provide information on the opportunities available to deaf young people on this project to help them access employment and training. There will also be presentations from Action on Hearing Loss and the STUC to look at what support is available for deaf school leavers to help them into the world of work or further education.

Target Audience: Teachers, parents and all those working and supporting deaf young people in secondary schools.

Presenters: Tommy Donnelly, St Roch's Secondary, Glasgow; Liam Dunnachie, Future Focus, Linlithgow; Terry Anderson, Community Development Officer, STUC and Barbara Woodburn, Employment Advisor, Action for Hearing Loss.


 SSC News

Lilli Nielsen

We received the sad news over the summer that our friend Lilli Nielsen passed away on 24th June 2013 after a short illness. Having grown up with four blind siblings, Lilli had a unique perspective on visual and multiple impairments in a career lasting several decades. She believed passionately in the benefits of "Active Learning" for children who are visually impaired and most particularly those with additional disabilities. In our last communication with her she was glad that we were planning to digitise her Idebanken and ended her message with: "Thank you for spreading the knowledge of Active Learning." Find out more about the Idebanken and Lilli's work on our website:

SQA Examination Arrangements

For those unable to attend the free course in June on SQA examination arrangements relating to the new qualifications and curriculum, we recorded parts of the day which are now available on our website along with the usual course materials.


 "In Other News ..."

SQA National Literacy Units

SQA has produced a quick and easy guide to supportive practices for National Literacy Units. This guide may be helpful to centres, learners, parents, carers and others interested in support for the National Literacy Units. A braille copy of the leaflet is also available from SQA. Please email if you wish a copy.

Donaldson's Events

Donaldson's is holding two events this month: a School Information Day for Professionals & Parents on Saturday 21 September, 2013 (Contact and a Future Focus Open Day on Tuesday 24 & Wednesday 25 September 2013 (Contact


 Library News

The most recent addition to the library is: Signs of hope: deafhearing family life by Donna West, which tells the stories of three families that comprise deaf and hearing members. Donna is a qualified teacher of the deaf who became immersed in the deaf community and became fascinated by families' experiences of deafness.

Braille codes

RNIB has recently opened up access to PDFs of their transcription guides to the specialist Braille codes eg Modern Foreign Languages, Mathematics and Science. These will soon become out of date when UEB comes in so take advantage of them while they are still useful:

All of these items and many more are available from the SSC Library contact Sheila Mackenzie (0131 651 6069 or